If a person with early stage dementia is removed from their home, will their condition worsen?

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My 79 yr old aunt was going out food shopping with my cousin 2 weeks ago and she fell. He took her to urgent care where they detected a fracture is a vertebrae. He then took her to the hospital where she stayed for a week and her early stage dementia worsened dramatically. She is now in a nursing facility and her dementia is getting worse. If she is back at her house with 24/7 care, will her mind go back to where it was 2 weeks ago? She was dressing herself, putting on her makeup, bathing, eating, reading, talking on the phone up until 2 weeks ago when she was taken out of her house. Please advise if taking her home will help her.

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I'll answer your question this way=dementia will not get better.
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My nephew-in-law, who has been having some memory issues, suddenly became worse and wound up in the hospital; they found that he was dehydrated and that set off some other situations. When they got his blood chemistry right, he was able to go home and has been more like his earlier self. However, it happened again and last I heard, he was in the hospital getting straightened out again. It is possible that something set off the fall, and that is a good part of the worsening of her abilities.
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It is very normal for dementia symptoms to become worse in hospitals and care facilities. There is mounds of research to discuss this and why it occurs. Some patients improve when they go home, and some don't. It depends on their base diseases, medicines they are given in facilities, anesthesia, etc., etc., etc. And it's hard to predict. My 96 YO Dad has been hospitalized a lot of times and the docs never believed that he'd improve at home, but he always has. The opposite is true for my husband who has Lewy Body Disease.
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Her dementia may have been accelerated. She might also being experiencing some delirium. They are different conditions and without knowing her symptoms before delirium related behaviors may be diagnosed or seen as dementia. Please look up delirium to see if that may be applicable here. These issues are treated differenrly and delirium is often overlooked.
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Being in a hospital will give a temporary acceleration in dementia. Even when moving them into assisted living it is advised to bring their furniture from home so they will have familiar things. But dementia will continue to worsen. Plenty of ladies in the two assisted living facility/memory care units my relative has been in, will still get all dressed up, put on makeup, and even demand to see their significant others or think they are going to a concert. My aunt constantly wants to go "home" - she believes her parents are still alive and she still lives with them. Balance issues seem to go along with aging, and especially with dementia - so unless someone will be living with her and having help come in, like physical therapists to help her balance issues, and if the house can be "hazard proofed", AND at some point, secured to prevent her getting lost or injured when and if she goes through the "escape" mode (checking every door, trying to open windows, walking down the street or into neighbors houses). There are a lot of hazards and behaviors far more important to worry about then you know, if you are not there seeing it for yourself on a daily basis (and denial is not a safe option for your loved one in dealing with dementia). When my aunt goes to the hospital (falls, pneumonia, UTIs), I can tell when she is "sundowning" and will try to rip out her IVs or catheter, get out of bed, and try to leave. She starts getting agitated, will pull at her sheets, clothing, and keep trying to climb over the anti-fall railings on the bed or slide off the end onto the floor. As soon as I see her start "working" the sheets or her clothing, I have to call the nurse to get her medicated, before she gets so agitated that she will actually punch people who try to keep her in bed (and use some pretty embarrassing language as well). If you are not there, or not aware of the signs, you would think all is well - it's just an anomaly. Most of the nurses and doctors who are not familiar with dementia don't have a clue - so how could you, unless you do a lot of research. Lots of dementia information on reliable sites (forget about the fake news fake cures sites - you cannot afford the luxury of bad information and false hope). It is also important to find a hospital or doctor well versed in dementia so they will already be familiar with all of the suggestions you have seen on here and they know which might or might not be causes that can be explored. NICHE training - committed to care of older adults is one way to find someone trained in gereontology and dementia.
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For a person with early dementia, the incidence of a fall and the pain that is experienced from a vertebral fracture is a major to contributor to delirium. Delirium is a transient change in cognitive functioning with confusion, agitation or even increased sleepiness. It may be worsened by infections, medications such as pain medication, relocation from the home environment and routine etc. It can resolve once the causative factors such as the pain, acute infection, and medication are removed- but in the case of a fracture, pain control is important so the medication is a "double-edged sword". For some patients, delirium worsens the dementia and does not completely resolve. The reason for this unclear and a current focus of research- but as others have stated, the brain is complex. It can take a few weeks - but with support and supervision, the person may regain most of their functioning. It is important to note that once a person has had a case of delirium that they may be at risk for a future incidence of delirium. It is helpful to re-establish the routine and orient the person to the time and place... but don't argue with the person as it only adds to agitation.
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Jkeane,
Maybe, your aunt's POA can discuss some options for care with the Rehab people. They will likely release her only if she has proper care at home and it sounds like she would need 24/7 care, which is very costly.

Whoever is making decisions for her may request tests be made by the doctor, because without an MRI, they may not be able to know if she has had a stroke. There isn't always typical signs like weakness, numbness, etc. My LO's only symptom were poor balance, falls, memory loss and poor judgment. The Neurologist prescribed the MRI and it was then that they found multiple strokes.

I'd also keep in mind that her asking to go home may indicate a desire to go to another place in time and not necessarily her former residence.
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If Aunt has gone down this fast, the doctor needs to run some tests. Not sure but I think its hymaglobin in the blood (spelling is probably wrong) that can cause someone to be really tired. The levels can be brought up.
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My Dad went into a depression for 3yrs. He had been allowing his primary to treat him for heart problems. After a stay in the hospital it was found his potassium was really low, something the primary never tested for. Once my Dad was put on potassium, his depression disappeared. He ate a banana a day. There are all kinds of things that cause Dementia type symtoms and if u have Dementia the same things make it worse. Like diabetes, which also causes neuropothy which will cause falling. Thyroid, u would be surprised what that not working right will cause. UTIs do a number on the elderly. Does ur Aunt use a walker. If I were u, I'd see if you could rent a transporter wheelchair and take her to dinner that way. If she wants to sit in the chair the wheelchair folds up to get it out of the way. Try Red Cross they may have a loan closet. Sometimes firehouses and groups like the Lions Clubs.
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Thank you all for your informative answers. My Aunt has been having balance issues for the past 2 years and went to physical therapy for it last year. That is most likely what caused her fall. As far as I know she has not had a stroke. I don't know what meds she was given in the hospital other than an anti-anxiety medication. She is angry and agitated and wants to go home. She doesn't have much money, so 24/7 care at home is not an option. My cousin is her POA, therefore I don't know how much information the doctor will provide me. Also, I am on the east coast, and they live in Seattle. I am going there on July 13th for a visit, which was scheduled before all this happened. Her 80th birthday is on July 15th, and we were planning on taking her out to dinner. I am hoping the dinner can still happen, but my cousin is doubtful. I'm just saddened by how quickly her dementia advanced by taking her out of her home. It has only been 2 weeks and she is not talking or eating. I thank everyone again!
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